reformulations

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
I think it’s rare and usually they get worse, however one that comes to mind is Boss Number One, for me.
When I tried it years ago it used to have an intensely strong smell of urine. I tried it again recently and found that note has been eliminated from the fragrance. Now it’s a fantastic aromatic spicy fougere. Honey, rose, moss and amber. It’s becoming one of my most worn already. An 80s classic that has been modernised in a way I find more appealing.
 

LadyDragonFire

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 21, 2011
I honestly don't really know what's been reformulated and what hasn't?

That said..there are tons of fragrances that I loved years ago that I still love today! (Whatever current version of it that is still sold I mean..not old bottles I own.)
Like..I wore Calvin Klein's Eternity for women (the original one) when I was in high school, and when I smell bottles of it sold in stores today, I stll think it smells the same! And, I still love it!
I always loved a number of Lancomes including Miracle and Tresor..the bottles of those that are still sold today still smell the same to me. (As they did years back.)
The EDPs from Fresh like Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit or Fresh Sugar Lemon that I wore years ago still smell exactly the same to me today as they smelled then.
I think the fragrances from Hermes that I loved years ago like 24 Faubourg, Caleche or Kelly Caleche and a number of their citrus ones still smell exactly the same today.
I swear, every single thing from Chanel smells exactly the same to my nose today as they smelled years back.
Umm..I could probably go one but I guess you get the point!
Yeah..I guess its just a matter of taste and how sensitive your nose might be to certain synthetic chemical notes.
Also..sometimes tastes just change?
I seem to think there were some perfumes I liked more a number of years back too that I'm not so crazy about now, but I don't know if they changed the actual scents or if I just don't care about those so much now? It's hard to say. If I had bottles from years back and current ones to compare side by side I might be able to tell more..but then they say scents can change as they age too, so there's also that!
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Of the fragrances in my collection that I know have been reformulated, none of them are the better for it.
 

cacio

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
Nothing I can think of really-hard to improve on something that was great when you cannot use half of the ingredients.

Just to cite something-New York Intense. they didn't try to mimic the old exactly, they changed the drydown completely and went in a different direction. But NY intense is just as good a perfume as the old NY was, and perhaps even more unique.

cacio
 

jkonick

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2019
I can think of a few fragrances that have gone through a series of reformulations that included some duds followed by more successful formulas - Fahrenheit and Polo - but I've never heard of something that has improved on the original.
 

FiveoaksBouquet

Scented.
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
Most reformulations seem to be for the worse, with key ingredients so restricted or banned entirely, leading to many disappointments. However, every once in a while there can be some nice surprises. These are a couple of personal preferences:

One has been the new Chanel Gardénia edp, which i find better than the former edt. The edt had a “chemical edge” that could be offputting. It’s gone from the edp, and the florals now seem richer and better blended.

In general, muguet perfumes are now easier for me to wear. I love lily of the valley scent. In the past there was something in them that gave me a headache but whatever was banned from them turned out positive for me as that element is no longer a deterrent.

That’s all I can think of for now but hopefully there may be other examples.
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
One has been the new Chanel Gardénia edp, which i find better than the former edt. The edt had a “chemical edge” that could be offputting. It’s gone from the edp, and the florals now seem richer and better blended.
I'm glad to hear that, as I love white flowers and have been on the fence about the EDP.
 

FiveoaksBouquet

Scented.
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
I'm glad to hear that, as I love white flowers and have been on the fence about the EDP.

If you do try Gardénia, Bonnette, love to hear your impressions.


Almost my entire wardrobe is vintage so that tells you right there what I think, BUT I do enjoy the mid-2000's version of Polo Green as it still has just enough of the 1980's DNA in the base to warrant a :thumbsup: .
This strikes a chord because that’s what happened with Guerlain Chant d’Arômes—up to a point. It got reformulated more than once and was still fine because it kept the same DNA, until one more time and the gene that gave it CdA identity was gone and suddenly it smelled like any generic floral.
 

LadyDragonFire

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 21, 2011
One thing I actually did just remember:

A number of years back I once met someone who actually had at least one bottle of an original Jo Malone London perfume. (I can't remember which one anymore.)
I think it was a Jo Malone anyway.
But my point is that I remember I smelled it, and I also smelled a "current" formulation of the same scent (one of the ones done after the brand was bought out by Estee Lauder) and I realized there actually was a pretty big difference! Mainly, what the difference is (in the case of Jo Malone London anyway) between the original perfumes and the ones re-formulated by Estee Lauder is that originally the scents in that line were all done as higher concentrated perfumes! (They were either more like pure parfum or at least EDPs.)
The re-formulated versions are all more like colognes or EDCs or EDTs. (They call them colognes, they might be more like EDTs too though.) In any case..the re-formulated versions are actually lower concentrated scents compared to the originals, probably because it was cheaper for Estee Lauder to do them that way! (Everything is all about the bottom line!)
Now..whether or not you think that's "good" or "bad" is purely subjective! As I said..that's really a matter of taste and it depends what you like!
Also..if I'd never smelled or compared an original with the re-done versions side by side, I seriously never would have thought there was anyhing "wrong" with the re-formulated versions! Until I compared them, I just thought they smelled exactly like perfume! (So..some of these things are just a matter of perspective too..like..a scent is only ever relatively "Strong" or "diluted" or "concentrated"..it always needs to be compared to something else to make that judgement right?
Personally..I kind of like some of the older, more concentrated perfumes too, or some "intense" versions of scents they make now.
But..I still remember that years ago I used to wear Chanel No. 5 EDP, right? And..to my nose its just a very beautiful perfume! And..I love the pure parfum version of Chanel No. 5 too (which I think is harder to find now.) I think its the nicest smelling thing!
But..when I used to wear the higher concentrated version of Chanel No. 5, I remember I met lots of people who wouldn't stop complaining about my perfume!
Then..one day I think I tried Chanel No. 5 EDT (which I hate) and all those people who wouldn't stop complaining..a lot of them said they liked my perfume a lot more!
So..when it comes to the question of whether higher concentrated scents are "superior" or not..it's really just a matter of opinion and taste!
It's like asking whether certain fine wines are better than others, right? Like..you get certain "experts" and they recommend certain things, and will swear up and down that some wines are vastly superior to others right? But in the end, it really just comes down to your own taste buds and nose and what you like, right?
And in the end, with perfume and fragrance, it just comes down to our noses and what we like?
I don't mean that as a harsh criticism to anyone BTW..I'm just saying, that's all!
 

motorcade

Well-known member
Dec 21, 2020
I think it’s rare and usually they get worse, however one that comes to mind is Boss Number One, for me.
When I tried it years ago it used to have an intensely strong smell of urine. I tried it again recently and found that note has been eliminated from the fragrance. Now it’s a fantastic aromatic spicy fougere. Honey, rose, moss and amber. It’s becoming one of my most worn already. An 80s classic that has been modernised in a way I find more appealing.

Current Boss Number One has popped up a couple of times, while I've been considering blind buying current Giorgio for Men.

I like current Lapidus pour Homme and Givenchy Gentleman Original very much. If you are familiar with any of these three in their current form, how would you compare them against Boss Number One?
 

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
Current Boss Number One has popped up a couple of times, while I've been considering blind buying current Giorgio for Men.

I like current Lapidus pour Homme and Givenchy Gentleman Original very much. If you are familiar with any of these three in their current form, how would you compare them against Boss Number One?

Boss Number One doesn’t smell quite like anything else I’ve tried. I haven’t tried current Lapidus ph. Gentleman though is a very good unique scent with a darker and denser honeyed patchouli. They share many pyramid notes but they don’t smell all that alike; It smells slightly more old fashioned than Boss and the Boss is more ambery and fresh and although I like both the vintage and modern formulations of Gentleman I still prefer the current version of Boss Number One. If you enjoy the Givenchy there’s a very good chance you will probably like Boss Number One as well.
 

chypre

Well-known member
Oct 10, 2006
I like current Lapidus pour Homme and Givenchy Gentleman Original very much.

Have they improved the Givenchy Gentleman Original? The version I tried just before the new GG launched in 2016/7 was a little strange - extremely light patch swiftly followed by a clean white musk.
 

motorcade

Well-known member
Dec 21, 2020
Have they improved the Givenchy Gentleman Original? The version I tried just before the new GG launched in 2016/7 was a little strange - extremely light patch swiftly followed by a clean white musk.

While I haven't tried any of the earlier versions, I know the formula was changed apparently in 2019. My bottle is from early 2019 and has a different formula code than the first Originale-branded batches from 2018, which apparently had the same formula code as the previous (2016/7) version.

The patchouli is not extremely light to my nose (I'll say the civet is though). The opening is very nice, not harsh, not beast mode, although appropriately pungent and warm. Patchouli and honey, some leather too. The rose is nicely blended in, remaining masculine. I only smell the white musk and a very faint vanilla far into the drydown, several hours later, along with a dusty woodiness, and this phase feels a bit boring although agreeable.

For obvious reasons, the Originale can't have the mossy depth oakmoss provides, but it doesn't feel "2D" either (unlike the current very watered-down One Man Show, for instance). To compare, I think current Lapidus pour Homme succeeds in a similar fashion in modernizing the moss base without sacrificing the heft completely.
 

chypre

Well-known member
Oct 10, 2006
While I haven't tried any of the earlier versions, I know the formula was changed apparently in 2019. My bottle is from early 2019 and has a different formula code than the first Originale-branded batches from 2018, which apparently had the same formula code as the previous (2016/7) version.

The patchouli is not extremely light to my nose (I'll say the civet is though). The opening is very nice, not harsh, not beast mode, although appropriately pungent and warm. Patchouli and honey, some leather too. The rose is nicely blended in, remaining masculine. I only smell the white musk and a very faint vanilla far into the drydown, several hours later, along with a dusty woodiness, and this phase feels a bit boring although agreeable.

For obvious reasons, the Originale can't have the mossy depth oakmoss provides, but it doesn't feel "2D" either (unlike the current very watered-down One Man Show, for instance). To compare, I think current Lapidus pour Homme succeeds in a similar fashion in modernizing the moss base without sacrificing the heft completely.

Thanks, motorcade. It sounds like they did tweak it again, the version I tried was extremely simple and could never be described as warm. I might try to find some Originale.
 

motorcade

Well-known member
Dec 21, 2020
Thanks, motorcade. It sounds like they did tweak it again, the version I tried was extremely simple and could never be described as warm. I might try to find some Originale.

You're welcome - I just want to stress, the current is the only version I've tried. I can imagine the ways in which GG would have smelled different back in the day. Besides the moss, I can only guess how much civet was there. I could certainly take more of that. Finally, I can't say for certain, if my early 2019 formulation is the same formulation that is still in production today. The code in my formulation is 13770.
 

ascotnot

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2014
I don't pay much heed to the concerns about reformulations. I usually take each formulation for whatever it is. If it's really that different, I just consider it to be a different fragrance altogether with the same name. Although comparing a current formulation to a recollection of the same product from days past is a comparison, it's not a very reliable one and I wouldn't invest too much in any conclusion drawn from it. I avoid side by side comparisons because I think that anything I conclude from it probably won't be something that improves my view of the product - there's more to lose than I care to risk simply to satisfy my curiosity.

I know that for some people, knowledge of formulations and changes goes to the issue of value. I get that connection, but it's not really one that I make for myself.
 

Ken_Russell

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2006
To a certain extent and just subjectively speaking, perhaps to a certain extent Joop Homme.
While the performance still remains unchanged and therefore outstandingly good, its animalic and/or burnt sugar take on sandalwood (as strange as it sounds) were dialed back to seem somehow more sanitized/neutralized, but therefore more office friendly and versatile.
 

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